What distinguishes music from noise? Chances are your answer to this question would differ from that of your grandparents. Music majors and minors at Calvin study music at both a theoretical and technical level in order to shape series of noises into works of art.

Overview

The music major at Calvin allows you to focus your studies in one of three concentrations: music theory/composition, applied music and music history. You may also opt for a general music degree, or pair your major with a number of other majors and programs offered at Calvin. 

Additionally, the music department at Calvin offers two programs that lead to a bachelor in music education (BME) degree. Both 66-credit hour music education programs will prepare you to teach in the K-12 setting. Choose either the instrumental music education program or the vocal/choral music education program. 

Careers in Music

  • Band or Choir Director
  • Composer
  • Acoustic Engineer
  • Vocal Coach
  • More

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Perform at weekly recital hours; study privately on one of twenty instruments; participate in band, orchestra or choir.

Scholarships

Dollar amounts reflect awards given for the 2014-15 academic year.

Kenneth E. and Jean Baker Mathematics and Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,100
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; mathematics major; enrolled in a for-credit music activity (ensemble or lessons)
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
Kenneth E. and Jean Baker Nursing and Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,100
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; nursing major; admitted to the nursing program; be enrolled in a for-credit music ensemble or activity
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
Matt Beck Percussion Scholarship
  • amount of award: $1,200
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; play percussion instruments and participate in a large band or orchestra ensemble
  • apply through the music department
Janice Broekhuizen Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,200
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.10+
  • financial need is considered; demonstrate superior achievements in music; students are required to participate in an ensemble during the year the scholarship is used (except for music education students during student teaching)
  • apply through the music department
Jean C. Broersma Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; demonstrate achievement in Calvin's instrumental or vocal music activities; students are required to participate in an ensemble during the year the scholarship is used (except for music education students during student teaching); students are required to take private lessons in the medium for which the scholarship is granted during the year the scholarship is used
  • apply through the music department
Arlene and Ray Bruggink Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,400
  • sophomore
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is required; music major or minor (vocal, organ, or strings); outstanding talent musicianship; required to participate in a faculty-directed credit ensemble (vocal recipients) or in the Calvin Orchestra (string players); private lessons for credit in the medium for which the scholarship is granted is required
  • apply through the music department
Henry Bruinsma Family Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,500
  • junior or senior
  • GPA 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; music major; have made significant contributions to the general music program at Calvin; growing spiritual and musical gifts
  • apply through the music department
Llewellyn L. Cayvan String Instrument Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,900
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; play the violin, viola, cello and/or string bass; plan on performing with the Calvin College orchestra; must take private lessons
  • apply through the music department
Covenant Renewal Scholarship for Worship Leaders
  • award amount: $1,500
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.80+
  • have helped lead worship in their home church, high school or on campus and plan to use these gifts while at Calvin, either on campus or in local congregations
  • worship apprentices and Jubilee Fellows are not eligible
  • prospective students submit a letter to the Financial Aid Office (finaid@calvin.edu) describing your qualifications by February 1; returning students apply through the Calvin Portal
James J. and Helen A. DeJonge Voice Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,400
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; music major and a voice concentrate; must take private voice lessons; must participate in some vocal ensemble
  • apply through the music department
DeVries Church Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,200
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; proficiency in performance as a singer or keyboardist; interest in and aptitude for a career in church music; private lessons for credit in the medium for which the scholarship is granted is required
  • apply through the music department
Alexander and Lavonne Dragt Family Honors Scholarship
  • award amount: varies
  • first-year
  • GPA of 3.50+
  • financial need is not required; an Honors Scholarship recipient; preference is given to those pursuing a degree in mathematics, physical or biological sciences, nursing or music
  • automatic consideration
Gerrit, Beulah, and Robert Dragt Memorial Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,600
  • first-year
  • GPA of 3.50+
  • financial need is not required; preference is given to those pursuing a degree in mathematics, physical or biological sciences, nursing or political science
  • automatic consideration
Harold and Louise Feringa Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $3,000
  • first-year
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; demonstrate a love for or interest in music; first preference is given to a music major
  • apply through the music department
Friends of Music Scholarship
  • award amount: varies
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; demonstrate superior achievements in a Calvin music ensemble or prospective students who show great potential; performance recipients are required to participant in an appropriate faculty-directed ensemble in the area of the award for both semesters during the award (keyboard recipients are exempted from this requirement; composition recipients are expected to have at least one new work performed in a Calvin context during the year of this scholarship; all recipients must take music lessons in both semesters during this award
  • apply through the music department
Joseph Galema Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,200
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; preference is given to those dedicated to organ performance; second preference is given to those pursuing a major or minor in music with a focus on choral music and/or choral conducting
  • apply through the music department
Harold and Gladys Geerdes String Scholarship
  • award amount: $600
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+ in music
  • financial need is not required; an outstanding string player (violin, viola, cello and/or bass); required to participate in the Calvin Orchestra and to take private lessons for credit in the medium for which the scholarship is granted (except for music education students during student teaching)
  • apply through the music department
Helene Hekman Gezon Voice Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,850
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; must participate in a faculty-directed choir and take private lessons for credit in the medium for which the scholarship is granted (except for music education students during student teaching)
  • apply through the music department
Allene Huizenga Goguen Music Education Scholarship
  • award amount: $4,000
  • senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is not required; pursuing a program in music education; preference to those with an interest in urban music education; demonstrate the musical skill and Christian leadership qualities needed to be an effective teacher
  • apply through the music department
Trena Haan Voice Therapy Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,400
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; majoring in voice, choral conducting or vocal music education; interest in studying the anatomy and function of the vocal instrument; second preference is given to a Calvin faculty member, present or past, involved in teaching voice; third preference is given to a Calvin vocal alumnus currently involved in vocal music education
  • apply through the music department
John E. and June B. Hamersma Organ Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,200
  • first-year
  • GPA of 3.50+
  • financial need is considered; intending to study organ or church music with an emphasis in organ; sophomores must be accepted as a church music major in organ or as an organ major; must take private organ lessons for credit during the year the scholarship is used
  • apply through the music department
Leonard J. and H. Elaine Hofman Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,700
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is required; music major; planning to use musical talents in worship; outstanding talent and musicianship; must take private lessons for credit in the medium in which the scholarship is granted
  • apply through the music department
Henry and Nellie Holtvluwer Music Award
  • award amount: $1,900
  • junior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; music major; preference is given to those with the highest GPA
  • apply through the music department
Marge Houskamp Organ Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,050
  • first-year
  • GPA of 3.20+
  • financial need is not required; goal of becoming a church organist; private organ lessons for credit during the year the scholarship is used is required; preference is given to prospective first-year students
  • apply through the music department
Kuipers Family Wind Ensemble Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • junior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; non-music majors playing in Calvin's wind ensemble; exemplify strong Christian character and a visible attitude of encouragement toward other students that contributes to the positive spirit of the wind ensemble
  • nominated by officers of the Wind Ensemble; voted on by the members of the Wind Ensemble
Hets Molenhouse Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; majoring in music; plan to use their musical talents in worship; have a record of superior achievement in music activities and have given evidence of outstanding talent and musicianship
  • apply through the music department
Tom and Marcia Nobel Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $3,000
  • first-year
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; interested in music; plan to be a member of band, orchestra or vocal group; preference is given to students from a church in Classis Thornapple Valley (west Michigan area)
  • submit a letter to the Financial Aid Office (finaid@calvin.edu) describing your qualifications by February 1
Norman and Anne Noordeloos Keyboard Award
  • award amount: $3,000
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+ in music
  • financial need is not required; outstanding musicianship and proficient in performance; taking private keyboard lessons for credit (except for music education students during student teaching)
  • apply through the music department
Oratorio Society Applied Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,500
  • first-year
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; vocalists, string players with superior musical achievement; must participate in the Oratorio Chorus (vocalists) or Calvin orchestra (string players); required to take private lessons for credit
  • apply through the music department
Bea and Terry Pheifer Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • any class level
  • financial need not required; music major
  • apply through the music department
Norine E. Potts Scholarship
  • award amount: $5,000
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; planning to enroll in organ music classes; preference is given to a music major with an organ concentration; special consideration is given to members of Pillar CRC (Holland, MI) or a graduate of Holland Chr HS
  • apply through the music department
Rainbow Foundation Wind Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,000
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+ in music
  • financial need is not required; wind or brass player in one of the major instrumental ensembles; required to participate in one of the major instrumental ensembles during the year in which the scholarship is used (except for music education students during student teaching)
  • apply through the music department
Roy A. Reimer Memorial Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; profiency in playing the violin, viola or cello; demonstrate potential to be a leader in Calvin music ensembles; required to take private lessons and participate in orchestra and chamber music
  • apply through the music department
Loren and Dian Rupke Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; music major; required to take lessons and participate in an ensemble during the year in which the scholarship is used
  • apply through the music department
Henry and Eleanor Scholten Viola Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,200
  • any class level
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; play the viola; preference is given to students who participate (or will) in a chamber ensemble or string quartet; required to take private lessons and participate in orchestra both semesters; not necessarily a music major
  • apply through the music department
Howard J. Slenk Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $3,500
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; preference (in order) is given to students 1) planning to go into choral conducting as a profession, 2) planning to enter the profession of church music, with a specialization in choral conducting, 3) planning to enter the profession of church music, with a specialization in organ, or 4) focusing on the area of musicology
  • apply through the music department
Seymour Swets Voice Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,700
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+ in music
  • financial need is not required; proficient in performance as a singer and active in a faculty-directed vocal ensemble; must participate in an appropriate faculty-directed choir; required to take private lessons for credit in voice (except for music education students during student teaching)
  • apply through the music department
John R. and Marie A. Swierenga Brass Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,600
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; play a brass instrument
  • apply through the music department
John and Doris Van Dellen Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,500
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; outstanding musician but not necessarily a music major; must be an active participant in a faculty-directed ensemble; required to take private lessons for credit in the medium for which the scholarship is used (except for music education students during student teaching); preference is given to students who are outstanding in vocal music
  • apply through the music department
VanderBeek/Palma Piano Scholarship
  • award amount: $4,000
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; first preference is given to music majors with a concentration in piano performance; second preference is given to students studying piano who exhibit a high degree of proficiency
  • apply through the music department
Vander Griend Voice Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,250
  • first-year
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; music major or minor; exhibit interest and capability in voice; studying voice; must participate in an appropriate faculty-directed choir; private lessons for credit in voice is required; if no first-year student meets the criteria, then a sophomore or junior may be considered
  • apply through the music department
VanderHaagen Family Scholarship for Church Musicians
  • award amount: $2,550
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.70+
  • financial need is considered; pursuing a program in church music (either general, organ or choral)
  • apply through the music department
Vander Heide Voice Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,500
  • first-year
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; vocalist who has a record or superior achievement in high school music activities; must participate in an appropriate faculty-directed choir; private lessons for credit in voice is required
  • apply through the music department
Judith Vroon Vander Zee Music Education Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,600
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; pursuing a degree in music education; demonstrate a strong Christian commitment
  • apply through the music department
Bob and Lois Vermeer Music Education Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; demonstrate good character, leadership and service
  • apply through the music department
Vrieland Family Business and Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,150
  • any class level
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is not required; planning to pursue a business or economics major; seeking a career in some aspect of business; involved in some aspect of music while at Calvin
  • automatic consideration
Lloyd and Arlene Warners Family Keyboard Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • first-year
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; preference is given to piano students, then organists, and then other musicians; required to take private lessons in the medium for which the scholarship is granted; if no first year student qualified, then upperclass students will be considered
  • apply through the music department
Edward and Nancy Wasmer Family Scholarship
  • award amount: varies
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.50+
  • financial need is not required; pursuing a music major or an engineering program
  • automatic consideration
Martin P. and Florence DeGraaff Wiebenga Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,450
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; preference is given to those planning to major in the humanities and/or arts
  • automatic consideration
Gayla R. Witte Oratorio Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; member of the Oratorio Society
  • apply through the music department
John W. Worst Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $1,500
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; interested in the art of music making, either in performance, composition, musicology, or theory; preference will be given to those intending to pursue a career in opera, music theater, or who are active in such endeavors at Calvin; must remain active in the music department
  • apply through the music department
Johanna Kempers Wyngaarden Scholarship
  • award amount: $7,500
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; music or art major; show exceptional promise and leadership potential; preference is given to a music major concentrating in piano performance or to an art studio major
  • apply through the art and art history department or the music department
Johanna Kempers Wyngaarden Scholarship
  • award amount: $7,500
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; music or art major; show exceptional promise and leadership potential; preference is given to a music major concentrating in piano performance or to an art studio major
  • apply through the art and art history department or the music department
John and Betty Zandee Organ Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,400
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.70+
  • financial need is required; organ student; required to take private organ lessons for credit
  • apply through the music department
Carol Lee Zylstra Memorial Church Music Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,250
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; music major with a concentration in church music, with preference given to students with a special interest in organ
  • apply through the music department
Gerald and Adriana Zylstra Piano Scholarship
  • award amount: $9,200
  • any class level
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is not required; planning to take piano lessons for two semester credit hours per semester; preference is given to those majoring in music
  • apply through the music department
View all scholarship opportunities

Faculty

Tiffany Engle

Tiffany Engle
Associate Professor; Director of Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Studies (Director of Bands, Applied Saxophone, Conducting, Woodwind Methods)
Assistant Professor
Department of Music
CF 183
tje4@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6304

David Fuentes

David Fuentes
Professor (Composition & Theory)
Professor
Department of Music
CF 241
dfuentes@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6569

Phillip Hash

Phillip Hash
Associate Professor (Theory, Composition, History, Music Education)
Associate Professor of Music Education
Department of Music
CF 243
pmh3@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6022

Hyesook Kim

Hyesook Kim
Professor; Director of Keyboard Studies (Piano, Accompanying, Piano Chamber Music, Piano Literature, Music Appreciation)
Professor
Department of Music
CF 185
hkim@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6300

David Reimer

David Reimer
Associate Professor; Director of String Studies (String Program, Violin Private Lesson Instructor, Chamber Music, Orchestra Festivals)
Associate Professor
Department of Music
CF 177
drr2@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6259

Charsie Sawyer

Charsie Sawyer
Professor; Director of Vocal Studies (Applied Voice, Gospel Choir Conductor, Vocal Pedagogy, Vocal Literature, Music Director/Musical Theater Productions, Voice Private Lesson Instructor)
Professor
Department of Music
CF 179
csawyer@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6823

Pearl Shangkuan

Pearl Shangkuan
Professor; Director of Choral Activities (Capella, Women's Chorale, and Calvin Alumni Choir Conductor; Conducting, Choral Literature)
Professor
Department of Music
CF 170
pshangku@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6519

Timothy Steele

Timothy Steele
Associate Professor; Department Chair (Musicology, Music Theory)
Associate Professor
Department of Music
CF 237
ths3@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8523

John Varineau

John Varineau
Professor (Orchestra Conductor, Clarinet Private Lesson Instructor, Music Theory)
Department of Music
CF 181
jvarinea@calvin.edu
(616) 526-7813

Benita Wolters-Fredlund

Benita Wolters-Fredlund
Associate Professor (Theory, Composition, History, Education)
Associate Professor of Music
Department of Music
CF 237
bw24@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6909

Talk to us

Timothy Steele Timothy Steele
Program Director
Associate Professor
Department of Music
CF 237
ths3@calvin.edu
(616) 526-8523

Admissions

Connect with your counselor via email, phone, or in person. They'd love to hear from you and answer your questions!

Or, ask us your questions on Facebook.

In the fall and spring our counselors travel throughout the world to meet with students—see if they'll be in your area!

Teach This

Interested in teaching? You can gain certification in Music as a:

Calvin's teacher education program also contains education-specific course requirements that you must complete prior to certification. See course requirements for:

Professor Robert Keeley talks about the education program.

Learn More

Explore Calvin's teacher education program.

Contact Phillip Hash for more information about teacher certification in Music Education (vocal & Instrumental)

Read the teacher education guidebook for more detailed information about certification.

You may also be interested in: